Every two to three weeks in the Special Events Center (SPEC) in the SUB, Boise State’s Student Involvement & Leadership Center hosts the Blockbuster Movie Series.
At 7 p.m. on various Thursdays, students can view a recent popular film (not currently out on DVD) with popcorn and soda, all for free (non-students pay just $1 for the whole package). But what is the process of selecting the films?
“It starts with the programming assistants in our office. They are the student staff who actually plan and implement events on campus. They work with a team of volunteer students called the In-Team,” Erin VanDenburgh, campus programs coordinator with SILC said; “We also work with a company called Swank Motion Pictures. They’re a third-party company who contracts with production companies like Warner Bros. to procure films prior to their in-home release dates.”
Estephanie Vega, programming assistant with SILC, said, “ We use a program called Poll Everywhere, where we have a list of, say, four movies, and audience members can text in a code for that movie into the program (set up in the theater). We can see which film gets the highest number of votes, and then we end up purchasing that one (from Swank) and getting it for the next movie night.”
“It’s more of a popular vote, similar to how the Boise Classic Movies at the Egyptian Theater are voted (for),” VanDenburgh described. “Our system is a text-to-vote system the screen in the SPEC will say ‘What movie do you want to see next showing?’ They’ll get multiple options, and then you text your answer.”
But it’s not just the people attending the Movie Nights who get to choose what films they want to see.
“We’ll post something on our Facebook page as well, and probably Twitter, to engage folks in making that choice so it feels like it’s more their decision and not some person in an office somewhere deciding, ‘You’re going to watch this this week,’” VanDenburgh said.
The hope is that they pick movies students want to see, to get a bigger turnout.
“We try to keep the movie choices to what students would want to see so we can get people there and pack the SPEC. Last week, we had “The Great Gatsby” and it (had) a really good turnout, and the people that went enjoyed it,” Vega said.
The Movie Nights aren’t just for students to enjoy themselves with the art of cinema.
“It’s also a great opportunity for them to find out about other events that we’re planning on campus… next week, we’re having Campus Golf, and if they go (to the Blockbuster Movie Nights) they can find out about it and have someone talk to you personally about it,” Vega said.
Vega voiced optimism about future Movie Nights. “It’s an interesting way to get people together, to come and watch movies with their friends,” Vega said.
The next film being shown is “The Amazing Spider-Man” on Sept. 27, held in the Special Events Center in the Student Union Building, at 7 p.m.